UBC loses appeal over ammonia dump that killed fish in Vancouver creek

VANCOUVER — The University of British Columbia has lost an appeal of a hefty fine and conviction over an ammonia release that ended up in a fish-bearing streaming.

The university and CIMCO Refrigeration were charged under the Fisheries Act last year after ammonia was deposited into a sewer near the university's Thunderbird Arena, which found its way into the Fraser River and killed 70 fish.

CIMCO Refrigeration was fined $800,000 by the provincial court after pleading guilty to discharging the chemical into the storm drain.

The university was fined $1.2 million, but appealed its conviction and fine to B.C. Supreme Court, arguing that it couldn't be proven that the ammonia had entered the river, killing the fish.

In a decision released on Tuesday, Madam Justice Neena Sharma dismissed the university's claims that the trial judge made errors when considering the evidence.

The judge refused to decrease the fine and also dismissed the university's appeals of the conviction under the Fisheries Act.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Aug. 5, 2020.

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